A Little About Us

Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Several years ago my husband (Ray) and I were confronted with an uncomfortable truth:  we wanted to retire and enjoy our lives while we were still young enough to do the things we wanted to do, but unfortunately possessed a very meager retirement savings account.  We hoped to be able to receive the pension from 25+ years of state service my husband was earning, but that and even Social Security can no longer be counted on.  We also knew we wanted to sell our current home and downsize. So we made the decision to buy raw land, develop it with our own labor on weekends and vacations while my husband still worked his state job, and only buy items and needed services with cash. We would build our new house using only the equity from our current home and so we could retire without a mortgage in a new house that was suitable for us.  It wasn’t hard to decide where to buy land.  My husband and I are avid outdoors-people and verified do-it-yourselfers, so we decided to buy some acreage in the Northern Sierra Nevada Mountains just east of the Sacramento Valley where we presently live.

Finding suitable land and sidestepping “For Sale By Owner” charlatans was not an easy task, but through all the trials and tribulations and two years of searching for the perfect place, we finally found our little piece of heaven about seven years ago.  Since the purchase, we have been slowly developing the land, getting ready for the day we will be able to retire and move up to the homestead.  Through this process, our friends, family and co-workers have been quite inquisitive about our shenanigans.  A few think we are downright crazy but most have been genuinely interested in our process, and some have come up to help us.  I developed this website and am writing this blog for two reasons:  to keep everyone up to date on the latest developments, and to garner wisdom and advice from a lot of professional homesteaders who have “been there, done that”!

So here is what we plan to do to make our homestead more eco-friendly, sustainable and affordable in our retirement years:

1.  Build the house using Insulated Concrete Forms.  We live in the middle of a forest in California.  Forests are notorious for wildfire.  ICF homes are more fire resistant than most other forms of building.  Another advantage of ICF building is that the walls are super-insulated, most being at least 8 inches thick, resistant to insect damage and noise pollution, and are owner-builder friendly.

2.  Heat the house with a masonry stove, which uses less wood but produces more heat energy than most manufactured woodstoves.  Cool the house with convection and a whole house fan. The house will be designed to utilize passive solar as much as possible. We plan to be off-grid, but at this point we aren’t absolutely sure.

3.  Collect rainwater from the metal roof into above ground tanks and underground cisterns to use for the vegetable garden and orchard irrigation.

4. Utilize solar and wind power whenever possible including a solar hot water heater hybridized with a tankless propane heater, along with solar panels on the roof to run household items, including a super energy efficient refrigerator and clothes washing machine.

5.  Grow our own food in a vegetable and herb garden along with a fruit and nut orchard, raise chickens for eggs, possibly goats for milk, and maybe even raise fish in a pond. Build a root cellar for storing food and learn food storage techniques.

6.  Enjoy living.


If you have any thoughts, suggestions or advise, please speak up!  Your wisdom and/or questions will help not only Ray and I, but may also help others who read these pages!


80 thoughts on “A Little About Us

  1. Vickie,
    I love everything I see and read ! What an adventure! I am a Kansas farm girl living in a southern east coast city, so I am trying to incorperate the homesteading life as much as possible! I look forward to watching your blog and stories!

  2. Vickie,
    This sounds like my dream! I’m really happy that you are getting to live the life you want and a little jealous (but in the good way). Thanks for sharing about what you’re doing!

  3. Hi VIcky
    We got your email and I just had to check out your site. What a wonderful site you have! Your “the plan” is almost verbatim what we have been able to do here. Ed is the contractor so he would be a better source for you and has some ideas about ICF building that I am sure he would love to talk to you about. There things that we would have done differently with that….. but I love my masonry stove. THAT I would not change at all… except maybe to be sure that if we have this to do over again I would be sure to incorporate an oven in it. We must stay in touch!

    • Hi Laurie – yes, we must stay in touch! Again, I would like to thank both you and Ed for all of the knowledge and “been there, done that” wisdom that you put on your website. We’ll talk again soon. Vickie

    • Thank you! I visited your site today and read about your knitting. I’m jealous, but someday I will learn how to follow a pattern. Some day. Thanks for the comment!

  4. What a breath of fresh air to read something so real! Meet someone really following thier hearts! I’m so glad to find your blog, Vickie! You both are amazing and I wish you great success as you follow your plans to completion!
    Beautiful country for sure…..we visit rellies up that way every now and then!

    • I really like your blog site also! Love how you decorate your yard with all the little signs and statuary! Thanks for stopping by and giving a comment!

  5. My husband and I are becoming more and more interested in homesteading, but with a 3-year-old and a 1-year-old, we’ve feeling very overwhelmed and unsure of where to start.

    Do you have any recommendations for some good places to start in this process?

    • Tiffany. We bought our land first about 7 years ago – raw forested land in the Sierra Nevada Mountains in California. Since then we have been developing the land with the money we have, never borrowing. We want to live debt free when we move up there, which is why we are also planning to live off the grid. We have installed a septic system where the house will be built, have had a well drilled and installed a pump that runs on solar power, built a 10×12 tool shed which is also a small guest cottage, developed an area for our travel trailer so we have a comfortable place to stay while up working on the property, and over the last two winters have planted a small orchard – 2 apples, 2 cherries, 2 apricots, 2 peaches, 1 prune plum, 1 almond, and in another are of the property we have planted 2 walnuts. We plan to plant another almond, a pear and another plum tree this winter. We have been doing all this in baby steps, paying as we go. We plan to have chickens, bees and maybe even goats. We planted some artichokes this past spring and will have a large raised bed garden when we actually move up there. So that’s how we have done it, so far, and this blog is all about our journey. I encourage you to read all the other homesteading blogs you can because everyone does things differently. You can have a homestead in the middle of the city, or you can move out into the wilderness, homeschool your children (there are a lot of wonderful homeschooling blogs), and become almost completely self-sufficient. Above all, enjoy the process!

        • Yes, Sean, you are right! We are planning our home to have southern exposure windows and minimal northern exposed windows! Thanks for your suggestions!

  6. I have a cabin in the Sierra’s myself…Butte Meadows…it’s a “vacation” property I’ve had over 20 years! 3-hole outhouse decked out to the nines! Love it and the property. We farm in Colusa/Glenn County during the week and I’m up at the cabin on weekends and any other “time-off”…good luck on your journey.

    • Thank you so much Lynda! I know just where Butte Meadows is – it’s a lovely spot. Glad to hear that you love your outhouse! It seems so many people have fond memories of their outhouses and I love hearing all the stories. Thanks for stopping by and for your comment!

  7. I was curious about your outhouse project, so I hopped over to check it out. I’m glad I did – what an exciting way to retire! I wish you guys all the best as you get your homestead “move-in ready”!

    • Thank you Sarah! I checked out your blog – your kids are adorable. I also love that magazine art thing that you and your daughter made! Doing crafty things with kids can spark a creative side in them and you just never know where it will lead them. Thanks for stopping by and reading my post. I welcome any and all comments or ideas or suggestions – thanks.

    • Thanks Mountain Mom, nice to have you along! I did a sneak peek at your website and saw that you wrote an update on Tattler lids. I am just in the process of ordering some, so I will have to go over to your post and read it! I’m glad you think our plan is great, and so far we haven’t run into any big wrinkles. I just need to get hubby to retire and we need to sell our home in the valley so we can move up to the future homestead and make it our home!

  8. Hi, Vickie and Ray
    I think I have tried to post a comment on here before, about our similar blogs, but I’m not sure the comment went through. You’re doing something similar to what we did, and have blogged about it for 3 years now.

    • Hello, Gail. I believe I have checked out your website before – will do so again! I get so much spam anymore that I don’t even check through it before I delete it, so it’s possible I’m missing a few comments. I am going to start skimming through them again just in case! Thanks for stopping by!

    • Yes, sort of. We are a bit north of you above Lake Oroville, and a bit higher in elevation at 3,000 feet! But, yes, I know just where Jackson is! It’s a beautiful town in the middle of gold country! I haven’t been to daffodil hill yet, plan to make it there someday, but I know others who have and say it’s absolutely beautiful! Thanks, Melissa!

  9. Vicki,

    I dont know that anyone has pointed you in this direction yet…. But based on the criteria you set out of your goals. To construct your home and save $ both in construction and past that. Dont use ICF block construction. Use the basic Earthship model. I have an extensive experience in construction including ICF, and by using the Earthship model of construction you will save a ton of money, even if you will dedicate some more of your time. If you and your husband need some pointers or thoughts, let me know.



    • The earthship model is certainly interesting, but our county building codes are so mired in red tape that even ICF construction is going to be difficult to achieve! Unfortunately we aren’t willing to move to a different location because our children and extended family are all here. But, thanks for the thoughts. If you have a blog, please share that link with me because I would love to look into it more.

  10. Yes I know your area very well. My grandparents lived in Oroville…they grew oranges. My uncle helped build the Oroville Dam and we used to spend summers at Fall River Crossing above the town of Feather Falls and below Cascade. Very fun times! I still go up to Fall River and pan for gold!

  11. So glad I found your blog, doing the same thing here in Alabama, purchased 55 acres last year about two miles from our present home so we have a lot of time to work on our land our stories are so alike we moved our 5th wheel travel trailer onto the property, started an orchard, putting up fences, already have chickens at our home and will be moving them to our land along with a goat rabbit and two dogs, getting electric is out of the question 12 to 15 thousand so we are going to rely on solar generators propane and oil lamps, my husband will be constructing a small log cabin we want to get rid of the four bedroom house and just live simple, we already grow our food and plan to have a few cows for meet and a pond for fish, I get so excited I can’t sleep at night , I think I was born in the wrong era, plus we are doing this for our three children because we are so unsure about the economy, love your blog

    • Dear Niki – we must be sisters from another era! I also get so excited that at night my mind races around in dreams of living off the land and living a simpler lifestyle with less stress! Of course, you are doing this at a much better stage in your life because my husband and I are late-bloomers. But, better late than never! I can’t wait to get chickens and bees, and to build our raised bed vegetable gardens. I wish you would do a blog so we could keep up with eath other, or if you like, we can converse with e-mail! Thank you so much for writing, I am so glad to meet you!

      • I have been keeping up with your blog every post you write, I wish I knew how to blog because our lives seem to be so similar, just wanted to catch you up on what we have been doing, we are in the process of building a small lake, we were about three fourths done when winter put a halt until spring, we are going to dig a well this summer, we have framed in a small cabin about 800 sg ft, just going from 2, 600 going to be a lot of down sizing, but just me and my husband that’s all we need, we have build a small garage building to store tools for now., buried 2 , 55 gallon drums for water catchment, our bees are doing well will be adding two more hives soon, will be adding to our orchard next month we lost a couple of Apple trees and a Peach. Our small cabin is a one bedroom, bath, large walk in closet, combined kitchen and den, just right for us, we stay outside most of the time when weather permits , we have added a goat, ducks, and more chickens to our flock, you can’t live on a mini farm without animals, working on also moving our garden to this location after we put up very high fence, we have so many deer we are also going to put up fence around our Orchard, we are putting in propsne for stove and refrigerator, we all ready rely on some solar hoping to add more, oil lamps, generators, but plan on using as little than we have to, to power everything still working all of that out, can’t believe my dream is finally becoming reality, our youngest son has also built a small cabin on the property, my oldest son, and my daughter also plan on doing the same thing, they all have new houses and in case the economy fails, and it sure isn’t looking good, they will have a place to live and maybe enough food to eat, our home is paid for so this has helped out with getting things done a little faster, we also have the pay cash rule and the sale of our home will be our nest, as well as a lot of other people there is no real security in pension and S.S. we are now at a stand still and waiting to see if my husband place of employment which is the coal mines is facing shut down, that will put a longer time on getting all of this done, keep us in your prayers, love and look forward to read about all you are doing I feel as thou we are kindred spirits on a jounery and long awaited dream.

        • So nice to hear from you, Niki! Yes, we are kindred spirits on a lateral journey! Starting a blog really isn’t difficult. I’m sure one of your kids can help you – they seem to be so much more tech savvy. I would love to see you get one started so that I could be one of YOUR followers! We are also planning on putting in a pond, but that will have to come after our home is built. Your dreams are a bit ahead of ours, as we don’t even have chickens yet, but hope to get them soon. I understand about your kids building little cabins on the property. If the SHTF, at least they will have a place to go that may be safer and provide at least shelter, food, and the love of family. What more do you need? You are certainly in my prayers, as I am sure we are in yours! I never contact my readers through e-mail unless they approve, but we could continue to converse on e-mail if you would like to. Just let me know!

  12. Your dream is my dream! We live below our means now so we can retire young. We dream of the “front porch swing retirement.” We plan on buying a tiny house, too, so we are not bogged down by a mortgage. So much of the stress of today’s society is generated by the need to have “stuff.” I say, live simply and live happy! Congrats to you for living the dream!!!

    • Yup – our dream isn’t too far away now. A life of no mortgage or power bills, listening to birds in the morning instead of cars honking, and visiting my vegetable garden and the chicken coop instead of going to the grocery store – that’s what I am looking forward to! Good luck in your adventure! I liked your facebook page.

  13. Hi,
    I am in Australia, but I am the only person I know who cans. It is not a practise in Australia, but I do love it, I am very nervous about canning salmon, but I will give your recipe a go. We live in a very hot climate and I have only seen snow once in my life, I suppose the need for canning is not acute, but I believe it is a skill, and I am tied of woolworths telling me what I can feed the family. So more power to you I say, I will read your blog with interest.
    from the land of kangaroos and drop bears

    • Good morning, Louise! I am glad to meet you. I have really enjoyed learning more about canning and I am sure it will save me time and money once I become more proficient at it. I just got a new pressure canner and I am anxious to give it a go! Thank you for stopping by – come back again soon!

  14. Hi Vickie! I just found your website and read your story. Good for you for so proactively preparing for a sustainable future. My husband and I also made a similar move a few years ago although we are doing it in a more urban setting and we call it “right-sizing” rather than downsizing. We aren’t off the grid but have managed to lower our utilities to an average of all utilities less than $50 per month. We also are completely debt free (mortgage included) and have a garden to grow some of our own food. Not only has the journey been incredibly rewarding, we are happier than we’ve ever been. We both still work…but are self employed and love our work with great freedom so imagine we will be doing it long into the future. Good for you for taking so many active steps to live your version of “right-sizing.” ~Kathy

    • Thanks, Kathy. I slipped over to see your blog and I am thoroughly impressed! I love your SMART theme! Thanks for stopping by and come back again soon!

  15. Hi there from over here in Australia
    I’m so glad I stumbled on your blog through trying to find blogs to link to. I loved your latest post and so wanted to post a comment but couldn’t find the comments button. Your photos remind me of my younger years when we lived next to our landlord who had a vast array of produce growing which he at times shared with us. They were wonderful years for us three girls but lean years for my parents who were trying to save to buy us a house. I’ll be visiting often to see your progress.
    My hubby has just retired after 49 years in the workforce …so we have the next adventure ahead of us…retirement being a journey.
    Many thanks and all the best
    Alexa from Sydney, Australia

    • Greetings, Alexa – so glad you stopped by! My hubby will also be retiring soon and we are selling our home in the valley so we can begin building our homestead in the mountains, and enjoy our retirement years living as self-reliant and self-sufficiently as possible. Keep in touch!

  16. Vickie – I cannot believe it has taken me this long to get over to your blog! A thousand apologizes! But I wanted to tell you how amazing your story is. Reading the above put a smile on my face – It’s my form of a fairy tale and I can’t wait to see what’s next on your journey. Best wishes!

    • Thank you, Megan! Right now a lot of uncertainty is mixed in our journey. How soon will our house sell? Will we have enough strength and knowledge to build our new house? Can we truly raise most of our food? These are our dreams and plans, but most of all we will have to learn to just go with the flow. We aren’t spring chickens, so a lot of physical labor isn’t something we are looking forward to. But we are also inspired DIYers and enjoy doing for ourselves. I also love reading your blog – it’s just wonderful! Thanks for stopping by, and I hope to see you again soon!

  17. Hi Vickie! I enjoy reading your stories about making your life sustainable. I dream of owning a farm house, too and raise my own food. Right now, I’m still saving up for it and trying to live simply so I could realize that goal. 🙂

    • Good morning, Edelweiza! We have also been dreaming, saving, and trying to live as simple a life as possible, and our dreams are finally starting to come to fruition! Yours will too someday!

    • Good morning, Tina. Thank you for such a nice compliment (blush)! I see you also have a blog, so I will stop by for a visit!

  18. I, too, saw you on the blog hop. I was intrigued by the turkey and hamburger soap.
    I love the idea of not wasting stuff and recycling where possible. That said, we live in a small condo in Florida and I envy your plans and wish I could do similar. Alas, at our age it’s kind of a no-go but we do what we can with what we have! I enjoy your blog and am grateful for the informative ideas. Keep up the good work!

    • I know of many homesteaders and bloggers who live in apartments and condos and do what they can to reuse, recycle and reduce! If we all took that attitude, this world would be a wonderful place. 😀 Thank you so much for your encouragement and kind words. We are getting up there in age ourselves, but we are blessed to have everything fall into place for us so that we can live the lifestyle we choose. A lot of people think we are crazy, but we are actually quite content – and that’s what matters! I hope you come back to visit us again soon! We will be finishing off the outhouse, building a raised bed garden, starting in on building the chicken coop, building a bee hive or two for the bees we will be getting this spring – all while building our new home!

  19. Hi Vicki, I’m so glad I somehow landed on your blog. I got so excited reading your blog that I forgot what I was searching for in google. I’m a born and raised city girl but I love the country life. My husband and I are currently looking to purchase land in Ocala, FL and live our dream of homesteading. Keep up the great work and I look forward to following your blog!!!!


    • Good morning, Wendy – well, afternoon to you! 😀 Thanks for stopping by today and reading my blog. I’m always happy to meet new people! I hope your land purchase goes well and you are soon living on a homestead of your own!

  20. Just happened upon your site and congratulate you and your husband on all your efforts. You are an inspiration to the rest of us! I couldn’t find any other place to contact you so my question seems off topic for here, but here goes–like Donna, I love to make the scrubbie said and gift to others and had wanted a poem to package with them; not being very poetic, I wonder if Donna would share hers? The first half shown on your page is really cute. I’m glad you’re able to receive such joy in all your endeavors and that you have a husband with the same aspirations. Long and happy life to you both!

    • Thank you so much, Jane! I am sorry it took so long to get back to you, but moving up to our homestead in the dead of winter with no house but only a travel trailer and a storage shed has been crazy! Please feel free to use the poem! I got most of it from Donna and then reworked a few lines myself – so that poem is actually a “group” effort. Thanks for such kind words. I always appreciate comments from readers!

  21. The question I have is what type of Power Converter from DC to AC do you use to power your lights and TV? At what Watts, Amperage, and Volts? Would you mind sharing the information on your Solar Panel? Thanks.

    • Good questions! Let me see if I can answer most of these with a post I wrote previously called “Our Solar System”. You can use the search on this blog to find the post, or click on the words I highlighted in this post about our solar system, and that will take you there. It was easy to set up this system because we bought then entire kit from Harbor Freight that included the the 45 watt panels and a charge controller, along with four deep cycle marine batteries for storage of the electricity. I am in the middle of writing another post right now about a new solar system my husband set up with four 100 watt panels, a nice charge controller, a power inverter and four large deep cycle marine batteries. It runs our 5.1 cubic foot freezer, and let me tell you, it’s awesome! That post will be coming within a week or two.

  22. Hi 🙂 my names lauren, and I found your blog while doing research on Google for my future homestead. I’m also a California Native, and im here to ask for your advice.

    I’m literally hitting a brick wall with finding land- as well as finding more information on homesteading. I live in one of the most dangerous cities in California. So naturally when I go to the library and ask for books on farming, and argriculture. I find myself being stonewalled.

    Do you perhaps have an email I can contact you at? If not that’s ok. I just really need advice on where to get started.

    I’m dying to make this dream of mine a reality.

  23. Hi Vickie, I can’t find an email address for you on your blog, so leaving a comment instead…. I wondered if you wanted to join in on a series of bee guest posts I’m planning. Send me an email on eight.acres.liz at gmail.com if you’re keen 🙂

  24. Hi Vickie – I just popped on over for a visit and I’m smitten with your lifestyle and your blog!! I love the idea of living a sustainable life and I am inching towards it, bit by bit. Looking forward to having a good look around your blog and learning more about you and your wonderful life! Happy New Year!

    • Greetings, Debbie! Yes, we are also inching toward a more sustainable life – not quite there yet but striving toward that goal! I am really enjoying your blog also. Sounds like the Mutual Admiration Society 😉 It’s great that we can learn from each other. I hope your New Year is the best ever!

  25. I love your little poem you give with them. Is there more that goes with it. I have to I hope you make. I would put it with mine

  26. You guys are awesome! Makes me want to do the same thing. Really inspiring story.

    I work in development at Original Media in NYC and wish I had found you guys just as you decided to quit your jobs and move off grid. Because that is exactly what I am looking for and was hoping you might be able to help.

    Currently, I am developing a show that would involve three different couples/families as they decide to buy a piece of land and truly live off of it. I am looking for people who are gonna not only build their homestead from their own land, but then work it and live off it.

    Ideally, we would be at the start of it all the construction and see their dream come to life. I know it might be a little late for you guys – but is there anyone you know you might be interested in possible documentation of their journey. Any help or contacts or would be much appreciated!

    And again – awesome work! So cool.

    • Thanks, Bryan. We are just now getting back on track with our plans due to the “little hiccup” we had this past winter. We will be submitting our plans (God willing, it’s taken ages for our engineer to get everything done) to the building department sometime this next week and hope to break ground in August. We’ll see. Thanks for considering us, but I don’t think logistically we would be good candidates for your program. Being across the country from you and also being 1/2 hour from the nearest town, I’m afraid your camera crew would be on the road more often than they would be filming. I would love to have you follow along, however, and once the house is completed, you are welcome to come and see it!

  27. Hi Vicky.
    My hubby and I are at the very biginning of our journey to be homesteaders. We are still working and are looking for a piece of land suitable to live on. Do you have any experience you can share at this point? We have started an aquaponic system and I’m in the process of learning to make ourbown soap.
    Kind regards
    Sharon van den Berg
    Kwazulu-Natal( The place of the Zulu)
    South Africa

    • Wow – sounds like you have a good start! It took my husband and I quite a while to find our property. We had certain criteria: we wanted land at an elevation that didn’t get too hot in the summer so we didn’t need air conditioning, yet hot enough to grow a good vegetable garden and fruit orchard. We knew we wanted to be off-grid, so proximity to power wasn’t important to us. We would liked to have found land that had either a creek or a pond, but those usually cost a lot more money than we were willing to spend. Besides, we plan to install a small pond ourselves. We had to stay in California because this is where our three boys and our grandchildren reside. We also wanted land that was fairly flat, but some slope was acceptable. Like I said, it took a while, but it was worth it in the end to be picky. We are very happy with our land. Keep learning new things as you are doing, while you are looking for your land. Thank you for your questions and comments, I welcome them at any time!

  28. Hi Vicky, I love your blog that I stumbled in while searching for ideas on soap making. It’s nice to read about like minded people sharing their experiences and us learning from each other. My husband and I are in the beginning stage of wanting to be self sufficient. We had bought a 10 acre property in the outskirts of Reno and we plan to retire there and be living off the grid. We had recently installed a geothermal system in the house and it is just awesome to have a constant temperature inside regardless of what the temp is outside. Also the water heats up quickly when taking a shower. Our next plan is to install solar panels. I admire you and your husband for taking the plunge now and go for it while you’re still young.

    • So pleased to meet you, Dyna! I would love to hear more about yuor geothermal system! We have heard about it a little, but don’t know if it would work well for us. I know of another family living north of Reno and just starting their homestead also! Thanks for stopping by and come back again soon!

  29. Hello Vicky, I found your site last night looking at misc. photos that popped up on Pinterest. The outhouse in particular. So I have been soaking in your outhouse story, and how you built it. Then I decided to check out “A Little About Us”, and it seems we have very similar goals. We bought property at the beginning of the year, and just the other day, we submitted sketches for our home. Thought of doing the ICF’s for the basement, but the cost is a concern. The main part of the home will be a log build. We are using the equity in our home also. We are planning to build a masonry heater, and will be doing a lot of the work ourselves. I will be checking your website out more. So exciting! There are so many things that we do NOT know how to do. I am willing to learn, and my husband is willing (for the most part) to do any work he thinks he CAN do. Teamwork, you know! Our plan is to be debt free also, and ‘live off the land’ to a point. Can’t wait to read more of your blog! YAY!

    • I am so glad to meet you, Michelle! It sounds like you and your dearest are following the same path we are. I slipped on over to your blog, “There Are Cows In The Kitchen” and just love it! I am so glad you found the perfect logs for your new home. I know we will be checking out each other’s blogs for the next few years and will become great friends. Thank you for your comment and introduction!

      • YAY! Thank you! I love how you are so sweet to respond to everyone’s comments. Looking at your DIY projects, and thinking of the future if there is a chill in the air. I am amazed at your solar projects~~that is something that really intrigues me, but the cost is something I don’t think we can afford. Great friends! Love it!

  30. Hi Vickie, my name is Star and I started to have a burning desire to live a simple life, getting fulfillment from depending on myself and the earth to support me. I’m still very new to this; so I’m looking forward to see how you are developing.

    • Thanks for leaving a comment Star – glad to have you aboard on this crazy journey! Right now my posts are a bit sporadic, as we are busy trying to develop this homestead from raw land, grow our own food, work with architect/engineer on our house plans, and play with our grandchildren. But hopefully, as we get closer to actually building our home, I will have more time to post what’s happening up here.

  31. Hi there! Oh my, I just love your blog! Subscribed & bookmarked! 😃 Sounds like you and your hubby are living the dream! I really enjoy networking with other bloggers, especially other homesteaders. If you’re interested, please visit my blog, and subscribe to stay in touch! Merry Merry Christmas to you and your family!

    • Hello – so nice to meet you! I also love meeting other homesteaders and their blogs. Mine is on hold while I figure out some computer and server issues, but I plan to move full speed ahead soon. I hope you had a great Christmas and a wonderful new year!

  32. Hello Vickie,

    I came to your site to read about your turkey fat & tallow soap, but ended up here to learn more about you.

    In reading the comments, I noticed that you planted a couple of walnut trees. I have read that they take several years to bear (up to 30, yikes!! I am 58 and can’t wait that long. 😉 However, I also read elsewhere that if you graft a limb onto your tree from a mature, bearing tree, that limb will be fruitful the following year. Not certain if it is accurate or not, but certainly worth a try.

    It sounds like we have many common interests and goals. I wish you and Ray all the best.

    • Hello, Mark. Nice to meet you! Yes, we planted our walnuts knowing that it will be quite a while before we get a real harvest. The trees have blessed us with a few nuts these past couple of years, and we are happy to say they are good and sweet! Our biggest worry now is that the squirrels will also enjoy the walnuts, as the bluejays and robins have enjoyed our cherries and apricots! Ah well. We keep reminding ourselves that we moved into THEIR territory! Have a wonderful New Year, and I hope you come back to read more of the blog… and comment!

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